Keeping warm and well during winter

With the cold weather set to stay for a few more days, Leeds City Council is offering advice to help keep people warm and well and reduce fuel bills.

People may be too concerned about energy costs to turn on their heating or their home may be in need of an energy efficient makeover to ensure it stays cosy.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for health and well being said:

“One of the best ways to keep well during winter is to keep warm, but we know that this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. By following this simple advice or by taking advantage of the services available, we can help prevent people developing illnesses that may exacerbate existing health conditions.

“I’d also urge people to check elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours throughout any cold snap to make sure they’re keeping warm and well.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“Being able to heat your home effectively won’t just keep you well, it could have a really big impact on your wallet too. The services on offer won’t just have a positive impact on people’s health, we hope it will lift them out of fuel poverty.”

As cold homes can have a significant impact on people’s health, the council is offering this advice:

  • Having hot meals and hot drinks will help you to keep warm.

  • Check the weather forecast and make sure you have enough prescription medicines in case you’re unable to collect or have them delivered during severe weather.

  • The flu is much more serious than a cold and can lead to a hospital stay for those who are vulnerable. If you’re over 65, suffer from a severe medical condition, in long-term care, care for a vulnerable person or are pregnant, you may be entitled to a free flu jab. Contact your surgery to find out more.

  • Make sure you can check the temperature in your living room and bedroom. If possible, have a simple thermometer or set your heating controls to the right temperature. To keep warm and healthy, your living room should be around 21oC and your bedroom 18oC.

  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer as this can trap the heat more effectively.

  • Cover yourself with a blanket or shawl if you are sitting for long periods and put your feet up if you can as the air is colder near the floor.

  • Tuck curtains behind radiators as this will keep heat in the room.

  • Keep moving if you can and try not to sit still for more than one hour.

The council and its partners are also offering extra help to vulnerable residents.

Wrap Up Leeds+ offers homeowners and private tenants in Leeds grants and interest free loans for a broad range of energy efficiency home improvements such as insulation, heating and double glazing (subject to survey).

Contact the team on 0800 052 0071 or visit www.wrapupleeds.co.uk.

The Warm Homes Service from Care & Repair can provide repairs to heating systems and repair or replace broken boilers in vulnerable homes. They can also provide gas fires, additional radiators and boiler servicing for a limited period. This is available to homeowners or private tenants.

Contact Care & Repair on 0113 391 8336 or ravinder@crleeds.org.uk.

The Green Doctor (run by Groundwork) provides basic energy efficiency improvements including door and window draught-proofing, reflective radiator panels, pipe lagging and other devices. Green Doctor also provides practical, face-to-face advice on reducing energy bills.

Contact 0113 238 0601 or GreenDoctorLeeds@groundwork.org.uk.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) provides a range of advice including help with benefit checks, applications and appeals, along with advice about utilities including issues with fuel and bills.

Contact Leeds CAB on 0844 4774788 or www.leedscab.org.uk or Chapeltown CAB on 0844 4774788 or 0113 262 9479.

St George’s Crypt will be operating an accommodation hub for homeless and rough sleepers providing temporary accommodation and longer-term housing advice.

Contact Leeds Housing Options Team on 0113 222 4412 for further information.

Tenants of social housing providers experiencing problems with their heating should contact their ALMO or Housing Association repairs team.

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk